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I read that rats naturally can swim! My new Cheddar is a tad overweight, I thought that swimming a little bit every now and then would be good excercise. Any thoughts?
 

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With the risk of getting an ear infection, I'm pretty sure it's safer to give your rat a solid-surface wheel and let him run on it.
 

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A lot of rats hate water and won't go near the stuff except to drink. Some rats will swim, but I don't have one.

As for holding their breath, it's not recommended to dunk a rat in the water, as water in the nose and ears can make them very sick.
 

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... Why would you want to "dunk" your rat? ... my rats don't much care for swimming, I give them baths in the tub every now and then, but i can't say they're fond of it, and I never put them under the water... lol...
 

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renay said:
... Why would you want to "dunk" your rat? ... my rats don't much care for swimming, I give them baths in the tub every now and then, but i can't say they're fond of it, and I never put them under the water... lol...
I wouldn't... but it is how a coworker suggested bathing them. "Just grab 'em and shove 'em under." 8O
 

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My rats love water, but it took some time. They have constant, everyday access to a swimming pool. They got more and more brave...

It started with pea fishing when they were young. I just kept making the pool deeper and deeper until they were swimming around in it and not just wading.

Now, they are to the point where they will dive down and fish around for the peas that sank. It is about 5 or 6 inches deep, now...

The bottom has the smooth pebbles that you can use for fish tanks... they treat those like treasure. They will go in and dive down to eventually bring ALL of them into their hammock... soaking it all the way through.

I think that I got lucky because one of my rats was really into water from the beginning and she "inspired" the rest. :-D

Vixie is right, though. You do have to keep an eye on their ears.
 

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I used to put a big rock in the bathtub and fill it with water high enough so my ratties can't touch the bottom but so they could sit on the rock. At first they would just sit out of the water. But then I would get in and tempt them off it. Eventually they would jump off the rock and swim around.

I think like with alot of things its a matter of getting them used to it and making it a fun activity. Using lots of positive reinforcement.

I had a rat with a leg defect once. I used swimming like therapy for the rat's leg (I heard about people using this method for off the track race horses) and it helped greatly.
 

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we do acupuncture at caring hands and it helps many dogs greatly. this dog knuckles came in today, she's been in a wheelchair-thing for years and had her first session today. dr. stein says she has brought a couple dogs back to walking from that paralyzed state so we'll see how knuckles does. anyway, i thought of that because knuckles goes swimming to ease the tension in her front legs from dragging herself around all day.
 

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That's interesting Ono. I didn't know they had therapy for dogs.......I know knuckles responds well :)


anyhoo I love swimming, so maybe my ratties WILL catch on eventually......here's hopin!
 

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None of my rats really love to swim, but my first girl is an extremely skilled swimmer, much better than me!

I think I'm going to start out my youngest girl on fishing for peas and see what happens from there.
 
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